This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Ha’azinu (Deuteronomy 32). The song of Moses provides a lyrical backdrop for discussing the beauty and message of Moses’ last words to the people. Gordon explains poetic structure and rhythm as well as how poetic names are formed in Hebrew. The trio explores the repeated references to the “rock” in this song and clarifies who “they” refers to—Israel or the nations. Johnson expounds on the beauty inherit in the Tanach for Christians—with no retrofits needed—while Gordon highlights the passage equating “calling out the name of Yehovah” with “giving greatness” to the Name. The trio concludes with all the conviction of Moses—that there simply are not any other gods out there.
This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Nitzavim (Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20). The trio revels in this portion containing the five verses that sum up the entire Bible—the wonderful and terrible responsibility given to mankind to choose. But what qualifies one to choose the life-giving covenant? Social status? Being in the camp? Does the name of God provide a clue? And how is this covenant sealed—with a kiss or a curse? Is comprehension of the covenant too difficult for stiff-necked mortals? Whose name do we call on for help? Gordon concludes with a Hebrew word study that reveals what true prosperity looks like for those choosing Torah—a radiant bride with a loving and joyful groom.
This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9). As the trio begins this portion focusing on judgment and law, Gordon shares the origin of the Hebrew word for “grace.” Discussions include: Must we always have two or three witnesses? Who has the authority today? Are we guilty of rejecting Yehovah as King? What of the Harry Potter question and how far do we take Deuteronomy 18:9-14? Who is the prophet likened unto Moses? Was God’s eye sparkling when he accepted Jacob’s pillar—a thing he hates? Who now has the authority to judge difficult things? What first-century Roman is infamous for mocking an atonement ritual? Who’s the original tree-hugger? With differing views, the trio debates whether certain cultural practices are abominations and Gordon provides an eyewitness account of Deuteronomy 19:1. Showing no fear, the trio concludes by examining the weirdest thing in the Bible.
Shoftim (Isaiah 51:12-52:12) – Prophet Pearls
This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Eikev covering Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25. Using language, history, context and common sense, Gordon provides insight into Hebrew slang as well as certain words from the portion, including “because,” “disease,” and “hornet.” The question of when to say grace leads the trio to discuss the powerful implications of lifelong learning—“little by little.” Johnson relates how Jesus’ intimacy with the books of Moses draws him to the Torah. The trio answers: What Hebrew word describes both “God” and “desert?” Does God set time limits on wickedness? What things are abominable? What is the danger of arrogance? Who hewed? And who wrote? Gordon discusses the irony that scripture and Jewish tradition consider the blotting out of a name to be a curse. And in contrast to the practice of only using the Tetragrammaton, Gordon reads Deuteronomy 10:17 in Hebrew to reveal the alliterative beauty of the verse and the power unleashed when the great, mighty and awesome name is spoken.
This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Vaetchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11). Vaetchanan is perhaps the crown jewel of Torah portions. It contains the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4. But what do the Hebrew words “Shema” and “Echad” mean and why is this single verse so important? Also in this program: Is Jesus/ Yeshua a victim of character assassination? What are the Noahide laws? Was the covenant made with us or our fathers? What is the 1st commandment?
Vaetchanan is adorned with an especially long strand of pearls and each gem is held to the light. After examining, “he pleaded,” the trio gets to the nitty-gritty of why Moses didn’t cross over. After noting the differences between the Ten Commandments in this portion and the listing in Exodus, the command not to add nor take away from the Torah is examined—as well as Jesus’ words on the subject. The provenance of the Noahide laws is revealed—with instances in the Tanakh (Old Testament) where these laws are contradicted. Discussions include: What does Moses’ 3,500 year-old prophecy prove? Regarding Sinai: would you just have to be there? How can we keep God’s word on our hearts? (see also Tefillin link below) What does it mean to take God’s name in vain? To covet? We have to pay for whose sins? (see also Ezekiel 18 & 33 link below) Is there more than one reason to keep the Sabbath day? Is there a better reason to honor one’s parents than the blessing of a longer life? Gemstones also include the “Shema” (6:4) in context, in tradition, and as spoken by Jesus. Gordon reveals a fossil from tradition that proves a time when the name of Yehovah was freely spoken. This especially long and lustrous string of pearls shows that Israel accepted the Torah as good—as love, light, wisdom and beauty for all mankind.
In this episode of The Original Torah Pearls, Masei (Numbers 33:1-36:13), we reached the final portion for the Book of Numbers! Among the topics we discuss the question: how are the gentiles who join themselves to Yehovah, spoken of in Isaiah 56, assigned to one of the twelve tribes as Calev was assigned to Judah? In other words, could Keith one day be a Levite?
Prophet Pearls – Masei (covering Jeremiah 2:4-28; 3:4)
In this episode of the The Original Torah Pearls, Matot (Numbers 30:2-32:42), we discuss what is the Torah involving vows and does it differ between man and woman? Why didn’t Balaam the son of Beor die according to his request in Numbers 23:10? What is the relationship between the Midianites and Israel? How can we reconcile Numbers 31:15-18 and Ezra 10:18-19?
Prophet Pearls – Matot (Jeremiah 1:1-2:3)
This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1). What is the qualification of the first born? Who inherits the land if a father has no sons but only daughters? Did Pinchas impale a princess of Midian? Double portion or two thirds – what did it mean for Moses to impart some of his glory to Joshua, or Elijah’s spirit to Elisha?
This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Korach (Numbers 16:1-18:32). In the rebellion against Moses & Aaron, did Korah, Dathan and Abiram establish a rival tabernacle? Who are the “men of renown”? Were Korah’s sons also among those swallowed by the earth? What is the significance of the censer for burning incense?
Prophet Pearls – Korach (1 Samuel 11:14-12:22)
This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Shlach (Numbers 13:1-15:41). In this Torah Portion we discuss what does the name Hoshea mean? Is there Hebrew slang in the Torah? What is God’s perspective of forgiveness? Caleb and Jesus went into the land? What does it mean to sin with an uplifted hand? Also, beware of the tzitzit police!
Prophet Pearls – Shlach (Joshua 2:1-24)